Monday 24 July 2017

Listen, it’s okay to be a feminist fangirl

Prime Minister of Canada. Justin Trudeau, wife Sophie Grégoire-Trudeau and son Hadrien arrive at Dublin airport (Picture: Arthur Carron)
Prime Minister of Canada. Justin Trudeau, wife Sophie Grégoire-Trudeau and son Hadrien arrive at Dublin airport (Picture: Arthur Carron)
Prime Minister of Canada. Justin Trudeau, wife Sophie Grégoire-Trudeau and son Hadrien arrive at Dublin airport . Picture: Arthur Carron
Dublin footballer Ciarán Kilkenny and Taoiseach Leo Varadkar watch Justin Trudeau solo a sliothar in Farmleigh Photo: Gerry Mooney
Kirsty Blake Knox

Kirsty Blake Knox

I thought I was over that sort of nonsense.

Not since Harvey Kinkle sauntered down the corridor of Westbridge High School in Sabrina the Teenage Witch, or Shane Lynch writhed around in those OshKosh B’Gosh overalls during Boyzone’s heyday have I had a schoolgirl crush.

But then Canadian PM Justin Trudeau walks into town with his big, beautiful Canadian head and perfect teeth and I’m laughing hysterically at cheap socks and mishaps with sliotars. 

It wasn’t just me, mind; the Taoiseach, other reporters, passers-by all giggled and blushed when he arrived at Farmleigh for his early morning tête-à-tête. He sauntered into the hallway, shook Leo’s hand, and spoke about how he had slept like a log.

Dublin footballer Ciarán Kilkenny and Taoiseach Leo Varadkar watch Justin Trudeau
solo a sliothar in Farmleigh Photo: Gerry Mooney
Dublin footballer Ciarán Kilkenny and Taoiseach Leo Varadkar watch Justin Trudeau solo a sliothar in Farmleigh Photo: Gerry Mooney

I deduced all of this when watching the news later; the only thing I had written down in my notebook about that significant first meeting was the word ‘face’.

There was a flurry of excitement when they exchanged gifts — with one eager photographer knocking over an antique lamp as he hurried to get a picture.

“Careful,” Leo said before hitching up his trousers, Max Wall style, to show Trudeau his Maple Leaf socks.

Outside, I texted my news desk, informing them just how handsome he was.

“Like the Jonas Brother’s sexy uncle or a wiser Prince Eric from the Little Mermaid, or a more chiselled and clothed version of Michelangelo’s David,” I explained.

At this stage, I realised I was smiling so much my face had started to ache.

It was around about then, when all of us were in the middle of a collective blissed-out hazy crush, that the ‘Broflakes’ started to gets angsty. For those of you unfamiliar with the term; a Broflake — derivative from the term used to describe sensitive millennials ‘Snowflakes’ — refers to “straight men offended by any activity which is not directly designed for him”.

These are the guys posting on Facebook that ‘All Lives Matter’ or asking if ‘there is an International Men’s Day?’ or ‘When is there going to be straight Pride march?’

And if there is one thing they hate, it’s suave liberals with a full head of hair and gleaming teeth.

“And you call yourself a feminist?” one of them said when I pointed out how well Trudeau wears a button-down shirt.

Riiight, you know feminists can still fancy people? Those two things aren’t mutually exclusive — you don’t stop appreciating Brad Pitt’s jawline just because you want body autonomy.

“If men spoke about a female politician that way, there would be uproar,” was another soundbite.

“Can you focus on his politics and policies — not his socks?”

Like I care about CETA. Besides, it’s not the same.

There is a lot more written about female politicians’ appearance than males, Theresa May’s shoes get more column inches than Corbyn’s suits.

What’s more, I wasn’t focusing on Trudeau’s socks, thanks very much. I was focusing on his arse. Get it right, okay?

It wasn’t just the Broflakes getting het up though, other po-faced people were tut-tutting about Leo jogging around the Phoenix Park, and rolling their eyes when Trudeau was handed a bodhrán.

It was all so clichéd and cringe, they said. Next, they’ll be drinking pints of Guinness in flat caps.

Oh for crying out loud, lighten up nerds!

It was fun, remember that?

Can everyone stop being such a Debbie Downer and just let the rest of us enjoy some good old-fashioned fangirling?

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